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THE IRS WANTS CORPORATIONS TO GET WITH THE PROGRAM
For the past several years, millions of Americans have gotten their income-tax refunds faster by filing electronically. Now, starting in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, corporations will be required to file electronically with the Internal Revenue Service. This time, though, Uncle Sam will be the winner. The key is less float and quicker access by the IRS to tax payments. The Treasury Dept. estimates that it will save $200 million a year in interest by the time all of the nation's 5 million corporate taxpayers are remitting their $880 billion in annual taxes electronically later this decade.
A two-year, three-state pilot program will help evaluate competing systems from two banks and the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Corporations will file their tax information to a company hired to collect the data via touch-tone telephone, personal computers, credit-card terminals, or live operators. The data will be transmitted to the IRS and Federal Reserve, followed by an electronic funds transfer.EDITED BY SUNITA WADEKAR BHARGAVA